Under India’s presidency, UNSC resolution on Afghanistan encourages parties to seek inclusive negotiated political settlement

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United Nations, Aug 31 : Under India’s presidency, the United Nations Security Council resolution on Afghanistan while stressing on the importance of upholding human rights, especially of women, children and minorities, also encouraged all parties to seek an inclusive negotiated political settlement, with the participation of women, that would build on the gains of the past 20 years.

With Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla in the chair, the UNSC resolution reaffirmed “the importance of upholding human rights including those of women, children and minorities, encourages all parties to seek an inclusive, negotiated political settlement, with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women, that responds to the desire of Afghans to sustain and build on Afghanistan’s gains over the last twenty years in adherence to the rule of law, and underlines that all parties must respect their obligations’.

India has always, including in its speeches at the UNSC, stressed that the gains of the past 20 years in Afghanistan must be protected and that the government there is respectful to the aspirations of the Afghan women, the youth and minorities, and provides them a safe and a democratic future.

Shringla, speaking to the media later, said the resolution highlights the importance of upholding human rights, in particular in the case of women, children and minorities.

He said that India has always provided very strong support to the minority communities in Afghanistan, especially the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities, and it is an important part of India’s effort to try and evacuate Afghan nationals, including minorities.

The resolution, which was moved by the UK, France and the US, was adopted after being passed by 13 members, with no negative votes, but with Permanent members China and Russia abstaining.

The resolution also demanded that Afghan territory is not used to threaten or attack any country or shelter or train terrorists.

The resolution “Demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and notes the Taliban’s relevant commitments.”

Shringla, addressing the media after the UNSC meeting, said that Pakistan-based terror groups Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba are UN Security Council proscribed entities and need to be called out and condemned in the strongest possible terms.

“The resolution makes it very clear that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any other country, in particular also underlines the importance of combating terrorism. It also refers to those individuals and entities that have been designated under Security Council Resolution 1267,” Shringla said.

“The LeT and the JeM are UN Security Council proscribed entities, terror entities that need to be called out and condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he said, adding that the Council has been “quite unequivocal” on the subject of terrorism.

The resolution also condemned in the strongest terms the “deplorable attacks of August 26, 2021, near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, which were claimed by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, an entity affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), and resulted in deaths and injuries of over 300 civilians and 28 military personnel, and takes note of the Taliban’s condemnation of this attack”.

It also called for “strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, calls on all parties to allow full, safe, and unhindered access for the United Nations, its specialized agencies and implementing partners, and all humanitarian actors engaged in humanitarian relief activity, including with respect to internally displaced persons, to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches all those in need, calls on all donors and international humanitarian actors to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and major Afghan refugee -hosting countries, and underlines that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, including those related to the protection of civilians.”

The resolution also noted the Taliban commitment to allow safe travel to those wanting to leave Afghanistan. It noted the “Taliban statement of August 27, 2021, in which the Taliban committed that Afghans will be able to travel abroad, may leave Afghanistan anytime they want to, and may exit Afghanistan via any border crossing, both air and ground, including at the reopened and secured Kabul airport, with no one preventing them from traveling, expects that the Taliban will adhere to these and all other commitments, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals.”

The resolution “Takes note of the dangerous security situation around Hamid Karzai International Airport and expresses concern that intelligence indicates further terrorist attacks may take place in the area, calls on the relevant parties to work with international partners to take steps to strengthen security and to prevent further casualties, and requests that every effort be made to allow for the rapid and secure reopening of the Kabul airport and its surrounding area”

Shringla said that the resolution “highlights the will of the council to take necessary steps that are very important for the international community in its engagement with Afghanistan”.

“And as far as we’re concerned, we are extremely happy as a neighbour of Afghanistan, to be part of this important process of continued engagement on this very, very important issue,” he added.

The resolution on Afghanistan was the last major event under India’s month-long presidency of the Council. During the month, the Security Council also adopted three press statements on Afghanistan on August 3, 16 and 27.

UNIINDIA

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